Did you know that the parasites, bacteria, fungi as well as the viruses that invade the human body can also attack the surface of the eye? Or even the interior of the eye? Well, this kind of invasion is what is basically termed as an eye infection. So how do you tell that you have an eye infection? It’s pretty much easy to tell if you are suffering from such a condition. First, you will notice some kind of inflammation. This is evident in the conjunctiva, the inner corner of the eye’s surface or the inner eyelid, a condition that is referred to as conjunctivitis. However, these are not the only possible locations that such inflammation can occur. The eyelid, the cornea as well as the liquid that is in the eye are also some possible locations for such inflammation. The blood vessels that feed the eye, the optic nerve and the retina too, can have such inflammations. An eye infection does not necessarily mean that some parts of the eye are inflamed rather; it could also mean that some fungus have affected the supply of blood to the retina or the surface of the eye.
Causes of Eye Infection
The infection can be fungal, viral or bacterial. A given eye infection can be dependent one quite a number of factors. However, the infections are always as a result of some factors that include
- One common cause is an infection in lungs that results from inhaling spores. It is quite common in the river valleys in various parts of the globe. However, the condition is quite common in Canada and even more concentrated in Bible Belt. With such an infection, the fungus will tend to migrate to the retina after some years. This causes an eye infection known as OHS, ocular histoplasmosis syndrome. The syndrome is known to damage the retina. It specifically damages the macula where most of the vision cells are concentrated, which goes a long way to show that it causes legal blindness in the long-run.
- The infection can be as an outcome of bacteria build up caused by wearing contact lenses that are not disinfected properly. Some of the most common eye infections resulting from such buildup include Blepharitis and pink eye. Though these kinds of infections may not me serious, they require immediate attention from the doctors as they can lead to blindness of they are continually ignored.
- The eye infection can also be caused by some of the sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia. These two infections are known to cause conjunctivitis. However, the infections do not cause serious damage to the eye in grown-ups. Such infections happen when people rub the genital areas and rub the eyes with the hands later-on.
- Another popular cause of such infections to the eye is the Herpes Simplex virus. It is evident as a skin disease or sexually transmitted infection that is transmitted to the eye the same way as the gonorrhea. It is causes some serious damage to the retinal tissues hence can easily cause some dramatic damage to one’s vision which can even lead to blindness.
- The shingles which are basically a reactivation of the virus that causes chicken pox is also a major cause of eye infections. When one touches a sore and then proceeds to rub the eye, an ocular infection is bound to occur. Unlike the herpes simplex that is the major cause of the acute retinal necrosis in children, the varicella zoster is a virus that is declared as one for the leading cause of the same in the older generations.
- Lastly, there is the bacterial keratitis which is an infection that mostly affects the cornea. It is caused by bacteria that are found in the mouth, the nose and the skin. It hardly penetrates the outer layer of the eye. Nevertheless, an injury caused by the contact lenses or an immune system that is weakened can facilitate the penetration of the bacteria to the cornea.
Symptoms of Eye Infections
Given the fact that the causes of the eye infections are quite a number, the symptoms too, can vary for one kind of infection to the other. However, most eye infections exhibit some similar symptoms that include but are not limited to:
- Some watery discharge or one that is mucous like- this could be signs of viral conjunctivitis. If the discharge is thick and is yellow, white or green, it could be a sign of bacterial conjunctivitis.
- A feeling of something like sand in the eyes an d itchiness which lead to itching
- Some kind of crusting of the eyelid
- Swollen eyelids and tears.
- Blepharospasm which is defined as condition where there is some involuntary blinking
- Discomfort in the eye as well as blurred vision
Eye Infection Home Remedies
Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself! Here are some of the home remedies and herbal remedies that you can try.
- Eyebright- This is the most common herb that have for long been used by many people allover the world for treating eye infections. They have been deemed ideal for healing conjunctivitis, an eye infections that is as a result of swelling of the eye's conjunctiva. In such cases eye bright is used for healing the swollen conjunctiva, thus restoring eye sight.
- Marigold- Marigold has also been used as herbal remedy to eye infections. It is mostly used for cleaning eyes that have both viral and bacterial infections. Although it can only be used in small amounts, marigold has been recommended as the ideal solution for healing eye infections. It is also useful in curbing the pain that is caused by some types of eye infections.
- Chamomile- Chamomile is the other herb that has from the ancient times, been used for healing eye infections. It is also used for countering many diseases and conditions that have been attacking man since time immemorial. Unlike other herbal remedies which have a number of side effects, chamomile doesn't have any scientifically proven side effects. In addition, it can be used for combating irritations that are responsible for various types of eye infections.
- Fennel- Fennel is the other herb that is used for treating discomforts that are associated eyestrain, alongside reducing the eye fluids secretion. It also reduces inflammation that occurs in the eye membrane. In addition, it has the ability to heal both bacterial and viral infections of the eye. It also help in eliminating the irritations that come along with many eye infections.
- Plantain- Plantain leaves are the other ideal remedy for a variety of eye infections. Plantain leaves are astringent and soothing to eye infections. They also help in healing the inflammation that come along with many eye infections. Plantain is among the most effective herbal remedies for eye infections. This is solely because of the fact that, unlike other herbs that are used for treating various eye infections, plantain leaves are not sensitive to the eyes.
- Compresses– Both cold and warm compresses are also a good idea. You can also try the over-the-counter products such as the boric acid that is widely availed in the local drug stores. Ointments such as stye, medicated pads such as stygiene as well as solutions such as collyrium eye wash are also a good way to treat the eye infections.
- Potatoes– Did you know that potatoes can help in getting rid of the eye infections? Well, now you know. Grated fresh potatoes have a disinfecting as well as a drying effect. These kinds of properties are what make the potatoes an effective treatment for the infection.
Diet for Eye Infections
To alleviate the effects caused by the eye infections, taking some good diets can prove to be quite beneficial. Some of the most recommended diets include the whole foods. Beta carotene is recommended as a good supplement for dealing with conjunctivitis. Foods rich in vitamin A have plenty of Beta carotene hence should in plenty in one’s diet. Foods rich in Vitamin B2 such as the leafy vegetables, spinach, almonds, yoghurt as well as yellow fruits such as mangoes and papayas are also some of the foods to include in the diet. When one is suffering from conjunctivitis, they should avoid foods that are rich in sugar as well as starch.
Prevention of Eye Infections
- As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. This goes a long way to show that, rather than waiting to get the infections for you to seek treatment, you can learn easy of preventing the infections altogether. One way good way of prevention is making sure that if you leave a public place, you wash your hands before making any contact with your eyes. this will avoid the likelihood that you will avoid the bacterial infections that are common in the public areas such as toilets, classrooms and day care centers just to mention a few.
- If you the people around you have red eye infections, avoid sharing items such as towels with them. You should also make sure that their towels are clean at all times to avoid further infections. Make sure they wash their hands more often to prevent them from spreading the infections to other members of the family.
- In general, teach the kids to wash their hands first before touching their eyes.
- If you wear the contact lenses, always make sure that they are disinfected. This means that the recommended hygiene tips should always observed as far as the contact lenses are in question. Replace them regularly as per the recommendations of the doctor.
- Use recommended solutions to clean the contact lenses as only highly quality solutions can clean them effectively.
Given such tips, you now know how to effectively identify an eye infection as well as avoid and treat it. remember prevention is better than cure.
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